The Best Work Outfits To Stay Cool In The Heat

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

With Google searches for ‘office heat’ increasing by 96 per cent in the UK, it’s clear that many Brits are finding working in the heat uncomfortable.

Businesswear isn’t well suited to soaring summer temperatures, and whilst some employers relax the dress code in the heat, there are things you can do to make a formal outfit more hot weather friendly if the dress code is not changed. 

So, here’s some advice to stay cool whilst remaining formal.

Ditch the blazer

The first change you should make to your work attire is to lose the blazer. Jackets add another layer of insulation to your outfit which will trap heat and make you feel warmer. They’re also often made out of heavy fabrics which will make you feel uncomfortable in the heat.

Even by removing your blazer you can still keep a smart looking appearance in workplaces with a stricter dress code. You could also carry it with you so that you can wear it in situations where you need it, without being uncomfortable wearing it all the time. 

portrait of businessman working outdoors

Go open collar

Whilst ties are a key component of a formal suit, they can make you feel more uncomfortable by allowing less air to circulate through your shirt.

Removing your tie will help you to feel more comfortable, and the no-tie look also works well with or without a blazer, and fits in with a smart casual dress code.

Choose white shirts

Your choice of shirt can also have an impact on how comfortable you find working in the heat. White shirts reflect heat, and are the best choice of shirt colour when the temperature rises.

They also look crisp and smart, even when worn casually, so they will fit in with most office dress codes. 

man in long sleeve shirt with black headset and mouthpiece

Stay light and loose

Regardless of what items you’ve chosen to wear or avoid, it’s best to stick to lightweight and loose clothes where possible. 

Choosing an airy linen or cotton collared shirt will allow for improved air circulation and prevent the cloth sticking or clinging to you.

You should also opt for lightweight and baggier trousers than you normally would.

Stay away from dark colours

Even with white shirts and no tie or blazer, you should still look to avoid darker colours in your heatwave outfit.

Choose grey trousers, or options in light blue or beige. These lighter colours will not attract heat in the same way as darker coloured trousers, so are good options for hot weather.

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